Desert Isle Keeper
The First Mistake
If you’re looking for a good revenge story, you need look no further than The First Mistake, the second novel of domestic suspense from author Sandie Jones. I read it in one sitting, and it was a wild and twisty ride to say the least.
It’s been nearly ten years since the man Alice considered the love of her life died in a tragic ski accident. Since then, Alice has done her best to move on, and most people would say she’s done a great job of it. She and her second husband Nathan have a successful interior design firm, two beautiful children, a lovely home, and a marriage that is pretty close to perfect – and yet, there’s a part of Alice that has never quite managed to get over losing Tom. She’s terrified of losing someone else she loves. It’s nearly impossible for her to spend any time away from Nathan or the children, but every day, she makes a valiant effort to conquer her demons.
Beth and Alice have been best friends for the past three or four years. Beth is exactly the kind of warm, calming presence Alice needs in her life, and she’s pretty sure that as long as Beth is by her side, she’ll be able to weather whatever storms life throws at her. So when she begins to suspect Nathan of being unfaithful, she confides her worries to Beth, who seems to agree that Nathan is up to something shady.
Alice hates confrontations, but she knows she needs to tell Nathan what she suspects if they have any hope of saving their marriage. As one might expect, Nathan denies everything, chalking Alice’s suspicions up to paranoia. Now, Alice doesn’t know what to think. She desperately wants to believe Nathan is telling the truth, but the evidence against him is damning.
Beth’s role in all of this is quite complicated. On the surface, things seem straightforward, but the more you read, the more confused you’ll be. There were several times I applauded my ability to figure things out, only to discover my suspicions were totally off base.
I love stories filled with complex characters, and The First Mistake is one of the best I’ve come across. Every character has emotional depth, and even the villains are relatable. I was drawn in by the layers upon layers of secrets these people were keeping, both from themselves and one another.
Alice is one of the very best things about this book. She’s got an awful lot of baggage when we first meet her, and things only get worse as the story progresses. Still, she manages to stay strong as she attempts to unravel the massive web of lies she finds herself embroiled in. Ms. Jones does a great job highlighting the things that make her vulnerable, but I never doubted she’d come out on top.
Like most mysteries, The First Mistake is full of surprises, although some of them might feel a bit melodramatic to some readers. They’re not at all the kinds of things that happen in real life, but for me, that was part of this novel’s charm. It provided me exactly the kind of delicious escape from the real world I was seeking, and I’m pretty sure it will do the same for you.